Mulling law to end manual scavenging: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday termed manual scavenging as a "repulsive practice".

New Delhi: Terming manual scavenging as a "repulsive practice", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said government is considering an effective law to end the practice.

"We are considering a new and effective law to put an end to the repulsive practice of manual scavenging and to provide opportunities to those engaged in this practice to begin their lives afresh," he said in his Independence Day address.

Government had recently admitted to shortcomings in existing laws to eradicate manual scavenging, saying it would come out with a new legislation with more stringent provisions for eliminating the scourge.

The ongoing socio-economic caste census in rural India is collecting data on manual scavengers.

A Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers was launched in January 2007 to provide financial assistance to manual scavengers and their dependents for undertaking alternative occupations.

Under the scheme, Rs 173.50 crore has been released to the state channelising agencies, who have so far confirmed utilisation of Rs 147.61 crore.